Wood-Fired Pizza Vs. Oven-Baked Pizza

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If you haven’t been living under a rock your whole life, chances are you’ve enjoyed your fair share of the warm, delicious cheesy goodness that is pizza. Introduced in the States in the late 19th century by Italian immigrants, pizza was originally sold by peddlers for about two cents a chew. Soon after, cafes and grocers were offering whole pizzas to the Italian-American communities.

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Wood-Fired Pizza Vs. Oven-Baked Pizza
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Now, of course, there are several different varieties and styles to this Italian treat  such as the famous New York style thin crust and deep dish Chicago style where the sauce is spread on top rather than under the cheese. Gourmet style has become all the rage with chef’s using local and organic ingredients on top of varying crusts made from cornmeal, rice or even gluten-free flour.

BRICKS AND STONES

For years, the norm for baking pizza was most popular in your basic convection pizza ovens. But now more and more restaurants are investing in the brick ovens for that extra special wood-fired pizza. The brick ovens allow for higher temperatures as the heat radiates from the wood fire and spreads throughout the oven. By keeping this fire going the heat is spread out evenly which means faster cooking times.

These faster cooking times means that the moisture in the dough is sealed off quickly, guaranteeing a crispy, yet fluffy crust with crispier toppings and yummy melted cheese. Plus the wood used gives the crust a distinct and unique flavor uncommon in pizza cooked in conventional ovens.

CONVENTIONAL OVEN
Baking in a conventional oven also has its perks. First and foremost, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the stone brick ovens(which can cost nearly $4,000). You also have the flexibility in playing around with different crusts. With wood-fired baking, the crust is a hand-tossed, crispy and thinner variety whereas with oven baking, you can delve into cracker-thin style crusts or classic deep dish, which requires a slower and longer cooking time.

However, if it’s the wood-fired flavor and style you ultimately crave, you can easily re-create this at home by using a few simple accessories such as a pizza stone or even a special grill plate for your outdoor grill that gives the pizza that smoky flavor and extra crispiness. If you aren’t really wanting to fork over any extra dollars, simply turn your oven as high/hot as it will go. Most ovens can get up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but be cautious and keep a watchful eye on your pizza. Setting off smoke alarms shouldn’t be a part of the process.

Of course the best way to enjoy both pizza varieties without all the hard work is to visit your local pizzeria and let the professionals bake you a piping hot pie you won’t forget. Your taste buds will thank you!
Wendy Kellison
About the Author:

Wendy Kellison is a freelance writer who loves eating wood-fired pizza at BJ Willy’s a pizza pub in Beaverton, OR.

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